2004
Volume 111, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

Nowadays, when facing the death wish of a patient, a psychiatrist in Belgium or the Netherlands may legally initiate euthanasia. Proponents of this situation argue that a psychiatric patient’s autonomy and the seriousness of his or her suffering ought to be acknowledged and taken fully seriously. A psychiatrist’s consent to euthanasia will here have to be grounded on an assessment of psychological suffering that cannot be purely medical in character, which in turn will have to depend, for a good deal, on empathy. However, a closer look at such empathy uncovers various paradoxes and leads to the conclusion that a psychiatrist with the kind of empathy that is appropriate to his or her role, i.e., ‘cognitive’ empathy, will resist rather than go along with the patient’s death wish.

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2019-06-01
2021-06-24
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cognitive empathy; euthanasia; narrative; psychiatry; suffering
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